Perspectives: Ralph Rucci 58
Perspectives: Joseph Abboud 102
Perspectives: Carla Fernández 140
Perspectives: Yeohlee Teng 186
Perspectives: Isaac Mizrahi 218
Perspectives: Treacy, Mallis,
Bowers, Monahan, Mello, Parmal 270
About the Author 288
Chapter 1 Evaluation 10
Chapter 2 Collection Theory 20
Chapter 3 Fashion History 26
Chapter 4 Forecasting 52
Chapter 5 Crafting Questions 66
Chapter 6 Mood Boards and Library 72
Chapter 7 Specialization 76
Chapter 8 Profi les 90
Chapter 9 Budget, Time, and Money 96
Chapter 18 Portfolios 194
Chapter 19 Branding 198
Chapter 20 Marketing 204
Chapter 21 Shows 210
Chapter 10 Color 110
Chapter 11 Textiles 116
Chapter 12 Silhouette 130
Chapter 13 Accessories 136
Chapter 14 Rendering 148
Chapter 15 Patternmaking 162
Chapter 16 Stitching 176
Chapter 17 Finishing 182
Chapter 22 Celebrity 226
Chapter 23 Art 234
Chapter 24 Technology and Sustainability 242
Chapter 25 Awareness 248
Chapter 26 Experience and Education 256
The premise behind this handbook for fashion designers is that the art and business of fashion is ultimately a body of symbols and systems— a language. To communicate effectively within the industry and with the consumer, the designer must have access to an array of relevant information and resources. Since by definition fashion is ever changing, the focus here is on developing strategies that provide a competitive edge, no matter what the prevailing trends of the moment might be. These formulas also afford the creative side of fashion a fertile environment for growth.
Importantly, The Fashion Design Reference + Specifi cation Book approaches its subject through an entrepreneurial lens. Even within large corporate fashion houses, designers often consider themselves independent entities— free agents. Their career arcs are frequently defi ned not only by the positions they have held, but also by the strategies they have employed. Whether their reputations have been meticulously planned or have developed organically, these histories are in the end a commodity, requiring polished packaging and integrated delivery systems to have the greatest impact. Contemporary fashion designers face the job of designing a career path as well as a collection. The dialects of style are as varied as the cultures that cultivate them. Regardless of the vernacular, successful long-term design infl uences are based on a closed circuit, one that conveys the designer’s message clearly.
Designers can tap into this circular pathway at any point, but they must complete the course. This book serves as a primer for newcomers and a reference guide for professionals engaged with the daily demands of this art form/business. Each section represents a connection that fashion designers make between their original idea and the audience they wish to reach. As this volume is designed to be concise, convenient, and portable, the material is intended to act as acatalyst for further study and experimentation.
Section 1, RESEARCH, is about fashion intelligence—gathering information to identify skill sets and lay the groundwork for building a cohesive collection. Careful self-examination, vocabulary development, an understanding of fashion history and of forecasting techniques all contribute to the acquisition of project-specifi c data. Section 2, EDIT, takes the next step: refi ning concepts through a process that collects, reviews, prepares, and arranges the research. Constructing a mood board, fi xing on a specialization, studying consumer profi les, and establishing a budget help to narrow the designer’s focus. Section 3, DESIGN, establishes a blueprint, using color, textiles, silhouette, and accessory design. Each endeavor must be backed by a deliberate intention—a detailed, purposeful plan and an inventive approach to integrating the components that will result in a successful prototype. Section 4, CONSTRUCT, examines how the concept developed within the design process is implemented, employing techniques from rendering to patternmaking, stitching, and fi nishing.
During this period, the designer will also resolve issues with production and determine quality-control standards. Section 5, CONNECT, explores how the designer prepares the work for public consumption, concentrating on the power of words and images and experiences in communication.
Generating a portfolio, building a brand, working with the market, and producing shows identify and amplify the designer’s vision. Section 6, EVOLVE, addresses the designer’s challenge to create meaning while embracing change. Celebrity, art, technology, and global cultural shifts, as well as personal experience and education, all infl uence fashion design. Designers must understand their part in what a collection or label or company represents. Adding to the mix, a series of interviews with prominent industry leaders provides insights into the phases described throughout The Fashion Design Reference + Specifi cation Book.